New Students Guide
Mathematics embodies the spirit of the liberal arts. Mathematics is an art, a pure science, a language and an analytical tool for the natural and social sciences. The first-year mathematics curriculum is deliberately flexible. Our intent is to provide appropriate entry points whatever a student's level of preparation.
Can I major in it? Yes, we offer two options in the math major: a mathematics track or a mathematics/statistics track. For more information you can consult the Guide to the Math Major.
Topics explored: Calculus, algebra, probability and statistics, analysis, geometry, and applied mathematics.
How to get started: Most first-year students will want to start in the calculus sequence. Consult the mathematics decision tree.
Most first-year students will begin with a course in our calculus sequence:
Math 101: Calculus with Problem Solving. This course provides an introduction to the two fundamental notions of calculus: the derivative and the integral. The five days a week meeting format allows for review of pre-calculus topics as needed. Admission to Math 101 is by placement via Carleton Placement Exam #1 (CP#1) only. After completion of Math 101 students may enter Math 121.
Math 111: Calculus 1. A first introduction to the calculus that develops the derivative and the integral. Designed for students with little or no previous exposure to calculus. Placement is through CP#1 or CP#2. Upon successful completion of Math 111 students may enter Math 121.
Math 121: Calculus 2. Integration techniques, improper integrals, the calculus of the exponential, logarithmic, and inverse trigonometric functions, applications, indeterminate forms, Taylor polynomials, infinite series. For students with strong previous exposure to calculus. Successful completion of Math 101 or Math 111, an AP AB score of 4 or 5, or a placement via CP#2 is required. Strongly recommended for natural science majors. Upon completion of Math 121 students may enter Math 211.
Math 211: Calculus 3. Multivariable Calculus. Develops the calculus in two or more dimensions. Successful completion of Math 121, an AP BC score of 4 or 5, or a placement via CP#3 is required. Upon successful completion of Math 211 students may take Math 232.
Other courses open to first-year students:
Math 115 and Math 215: Introduction to statistics.
Students with more extensive mathematics or statistics preparation will want to consider Math 232 (Linear Algebra), Math 236 (Mathematical Structures), Math 245 (Applied Regression Analysis), or Math 265 (Probability). Please consult the Course Catalog for descriptions.
For additional information you can consult the Patterns of Courses.